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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - A team of Chilian rescue workers are sifting through the rubble of a collapsed building in Beirut after detecting possible signs of life a month after a massive blast tore through the city.
"These (signs of breathing and pulse) along with the temperature sensor means there is a possibility of life," rescue worker Eddy Bitar told reporters.
A member of the Chilean team told The National that they had found indications of possibly two bodies on the second floor of the building in Beirut’s Gemmayzeh area. The rescue worker, who asked not to give his name, said that there could be a “triangle of life” if someone had been protected by a supporting wall when the building fell.
He said that in Haiti the team had found someone alive after 28 days under the rubble and that “if they are strong enough, then anything is possible.”
The army and civil defence arrived on the scene and closed the road, bringing in equipment and floodlights to assist the teams working into the night.
A member of Lebanon’s civil defence said that teams had brought in thermal cameras and carried out studies of the building when they found indications of breathing and a pulse.
“They found another body and they say it’s still alive, still breathing but nothing is assumed for sure so we are waiting to start work again,” said Lt Michel El Mur of Lebanon’s firefighters. “We worked from 2pm to now and we will continue to find what is giving the pulse.”
He said the Chilean team, who have experience in earthquake zone and mining disasters, have found people after this length of time even if the possibility of survival is low.
“Even if it’s 1 per cent we hope it is good for us,” he said. “We have to remove the rubble to arrive at the spot. There is a lot of danger existing above us and so we have to work slowly,” he said of the fragile building that still hangs over the spot where rescue teams are working.
A sniffer dog and scanning equipment was seen being used to try and determine if there were indeed people alive under the rubble.
A crowd also gathered at the police cordon awaiting any news from the rescue teams.
But officials said that the search would likely take hours.
Updated: September 3, 2020 09:37 PM
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